International Trade Center (ITC)
International Trade Center (ITC)


One hundred companies from 22 least developed and developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean will receive support from the International Trade Centre (ITC) to participate in the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai on 5-10 November 2019.

The selected micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) will display food and agricultural products, lifestyle products and service offerings at the Enterprise and Business Exhibition, where they will meet potential business partners and explore ways to tap into the Chinese market.

These small businesses will join more than 3,000 companies from over 150 countries and regions at the event, which launched last year as the world’s first import-themed national exhibition.

Last year, the MSMEs supported by ITC did more than $117 million worth of prospective deals. Nearly 30 small firms that participated last year will return this year to explore further opportunities.

Working with its partners, ITC has been preparing the companies to participate in global trade fairs and familiarize themselves with Chinese market requirements.

Training includes e-learning courses on exporting to China and doing business with Chinese counterparts, offered through ITC’s SME Trade Academy platform.

ITC experts will continue to provide advisory support to companies throughout the event, to help them set up their booths and manage their business interactions with visitors and buyers.

ITC Executive Director Arancha González said: ‘This is all about creating new opportunities to scale up South-South trade and investment.

Companies that engage in South-South value chains are more competitive in global markets. The small businesses that we are supporting at the event have a unique opportunity to tap into the huge potential offered by the Chinese market.’

Ms. González will participate in the high-level opening ceremony of CIIE and a panel discussion on e-commerce in the digital era on 5 November, the opening day of the expo. The Executive Director will also deliver the keynote speech at the East China University of Science and Technology on ‘International Trade and Sustainable Development in a Changing World’.

In addition to organizing the participation of MSMEs at the event, ITC will hold a side event related to the Partnership for Investment and Growth in Africa (PIGA) project.

The session will explore ways to facilitate sustainable investment in the agro-processing and light manufacturing sectors in Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique and Zambia. Country-specific handbooks on sustainable investment will launch as part of this event and will be available online.

ITC will also sign two memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the event. One MoU will be with the China Electronics Chamber of Commerce (CECC) to facilitate e-commerce by sharing best practices and developing a talent-training base for MSMEs of developing and least developed countries.

ITC will also sign a MoU with the Administrative Committee of Guangzhou Nansha Economic and Technological Development Zone to promote trade facilitation reforms through the use of innovative technologies and by sharing best practices among international ports and free trade zones, with the goal of enhancing the overall business environment at the Nansha Free Trade Zone and Nansha Port.

ITC will also host a business-to-business matchmaking event with the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Commerce to connect services-exporting MSMEs to potential Chinese clients in Shanghai.

ITC’s contribution to CIIE is part of a long-term partnership with China in support of South-South cooperation and trade competitiveness, focusing on least developed countries in Africa and Asia.

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